Anxiety and NeurOptimal

Hi Friends,

I am fortunate enough to have some incredible professional friends that spend a good deal of their lives helping others and creating a platform in their world that trains a reduction in daily symptoms.  This blog is written by Catherine Boyer, a licensed social worker from New York that uses NeurOptimal Neurofeedback in her private practice.  I hope that each of you take a moment to find Catherine and join her blog!  Catherine, thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us!


Neurofeedback for Anxiety

There is yet another research-based reason to consider neurofeedback for anxiety, as if there weren’t enough reasons already! Anxiety is miserable, as anyone who suffers from it will attest. And too much of it is bad for the body and bad for the brain.

Stress hormones are powerful and necessary. We need them when we’re in actual danger, but too many of us walk around floating in cortisol and adrenaline when those hormones aren’t actually needed. A work deadline is not the same thing as having a 200 pound predator chasing you. Our ancestors needed those hormones to survive, but the legacy we live with today can be difficulty turning off that anxiety response when it’s not really needed.

Late last year, Scientific American published an article titled, The Most Common Health Problem is Contagious. Yes, they were talking about anxiety.

One of the things the article notes is that anxiety can be spread between parents and children, in both directions. I’m sure it’s often as contagious as a cold with spouses as well. This is what I meant about “yet another reason to consider neurofeedback.”

Anxiety can have a genetic component, but the researchers adjusted for that. The Kings College of London study participants were twins. Typical research using twins looks at those who were raised separately, but this study is more complex. Read a more in depth description in this article about the study.

In both articles, the lead researcher, Professor Thalia Eley, gives simple, practical advice for parents of anxious children.

The expression of anxiety can be difficult to control. It can manifest in irritability, anger and controlling behavior. But even if you’re somehow able to protect your children and those around you from being affected by your anxiety, what about you?

If you’ve been tolerating anxiety and haven’t been addressing it, here’s another reason to try the best way I know to bring it down.

NeurOptimal® and Anxiety

The most effective thing I know for reducing anxiety is NeurOptimal® neurofeedback. Many of my clients come listing anxiety as their chief complaint.  Anxiety may be disrupting their sleep or giving them digestive problems. It usually also has its own set of unpleasant physical sensations. Obsessive worrying and planning are often part of the picture. Often people want to avoid taking anti-anxiety medications or reduce or eliminate those they are already using. Anxiety can also lead to or be combined with depression.

It is very rare in my experience for clients to not be helped. Anxiety typically comes down pretty quickly, and sleep also improves early on.

One of my all time favorite comments from a formerly anxious client is, “My boss asked me what I’ve been doing because he saw I wasn’t afraid of him anymore.” Life is easier and much more pleasant, and we can operate much more effectively when we don’t have all that excess anxiety.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback


The Brain that Trains Itself

What?  Brains can train themselves?  YES!

We have known for years about Neuroplasticity  which is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by creating new neural connections.  Neurons or nerve cells in the brain will learn a new pathway to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or even changes in their daily environment.

For the first time a system has discovered a method of recording the brain’s cortical activity and ‘mirroring back’ to itself (256 times per second) what it just did so it can learn from it’s own actions or brain events.  As the brain is presented this information it reorganizes and learns from itself!

As this balance occurs the person will first be able to sleep better; falling asleep within 5-20 minutes, staying asleep all night (without too much tossing or turning) and waking feeling refreshed.  This first change helps to generate an environment that allows a reduction in many of the symptoms people have such as; anxiety,  depression, reactions to stress, rumination (repeating certain thoughts over and over) and learning new skills or learning to compensate for lost skills.

This tool has been specially designed to allow for ease of use in the office for therapists or technicians and for families in their home.  It is a simple product that is robust and consistent.  People use this system for attention, memory, sleep, stress, mood concerns, peak performance, brain injuries such as traumatic brain disorders, strokes, concussive syndromes and trauma.

If you are interested in learning more about how to retrain your brain and take advantage of the process of neuroplasticity using the NeurOptimal system call us at 317-258-7444 and we will share more information with you!

A thought from Dr. Lise’






Scared to Death!


We are all affected right now by the stressors of world events, from TV news broadcasts to social media, the world looks like a very scary place.   Due to this constant coverage we are finding more people are being ‘triggered’ by these events and are literally being ‘scared into a physical sickness’.  Interestingly, our minds chemically find value in being ‘scared’ and so some people intentionally watch frightening movies and put themselves into ‘death defying’ activities.

The body gets a ‘high’ or a rush when challenging itself in a psychological, physiological or a behavioral state that feels as if it is a threat to survival whether actual or perceived.  This creates an increase or an activation of arousal in the autonomic and neuroendocrine system.  Therefore watching a frightening movie or playing an activating online game where a perceived threat is ‘just around the corner’ makes our bodies respond just as if it is really happening to us in the moment.

The body and brain is affected by this sustained feeling of fear and chronic stress.  There is a release of steroid and stress hormones, including glucocorticoids and cortisol, these affect the heart, lungs, circulation, metabolism, immune system and skin.  There is also a release of catecholamine’s; dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline).  These activate the amygdala which creates an emotional response.  The brain releases a small protein that decreases sleep and increases a sense of anxiety (encouraging the ability to fight or run).  Lastly, chronic stress and fear will affect cognition; long & short-term memory, concentration, intellectual tasks and the interpretation of social signals.  The brain will not be able to ‘switch’ thoughts creating an inflexible brain that perseverates on ideas and negative thoughts.

We are sadly exposed to stress daily in our lives.  Did you know…

  • More children are killed by hand guns each year than by leukemia
  • More woman are killed by their partners annually than all the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001

(Bessel van der Kolk- How PTSD Affects Mind, Brain & Biology” presentation Chicago, 2014)

And just to put into perspective the FEAR of being killed in a terrorist attack as the media is trying to instill as compared to other ways of dying…

  • Drowning in a bathtub: 1 in 685,000
  • Struck by lightning: 1 in 576,000
  • A car accident: 1 in 18,585
  • Dying from Heart Disease: 1 in 5
  • Dying from cancer: 1 in 7
  • Dying from a Stroke: 1 in 23

And the Odds of dying in an act of terrorism on a plane: 1 in 25 million and in ANY terrorist attack 1 in 9.3 million!

The ways we can reduce FEAR in our lives are varied, but consider trying to reduce your fear by using some of the following techniques:

Turning off the news on TVThey report the same stories over and over and report in a method (auditory and visual) that instills fear.  Instead, read the topics you want to know more about in a reliable subscription to a newspaper online.  

Stop ‘following’ fear based people on Social Media.  The social media sites are highly addictive.  They support a brain state of gossip and voyeurism.  These two elements along with the feeling of anonymity allows and supports the ability that the individual can say anything without repercussion.   This empowers some people to actually become a new persona online, saying and eventually doing things they would never have done in their natural environment.

Surround yourself with kindness and perpetuate qualities of altruism, trust and honestyIt has been researched that people that react and respond in a way that they can feel good about creates a strong, confident and productive individual.  The Physiology of (Dis)Honesty: Does it Impact Health?

Try using a stress reduction system.  There are many ways of reducing stress such as neurofeedback, biofeedback, yoga, meditation, walking in nature, singing, humming, reading, playing and Instrument or engaging in consensual sex.  Our bodies get accustomed to what we ‘feed it’.  When we drink every night alcohol is it’s favored drink, when we focus on calming activities our brains crave that feeling, supply it with these techniques and reset your internal environment so when you do respond with a ‘fight or flight’ response it is an accurate physiological response.

But Why?

Why do people yell at each other and then wonder why their kids are oppositional and defiant to them, or to their friends & their teachers?  “If all the ‘love’ they see at home is in the form of yelling (or hitting) doesn’t it make sense that they think this is how to show their love?”

Why do parents, swear and use sarcasm to each other and then wonder why their kids are such ‘smart-asses’?  “Sarcasm is the most sophisticated form of language, it is saying one thing and meaning another, this takes high level thinking and most children have not formed this level of reasoning and ‘play’ with language until they are much older.  So for a young child to try to experiment with this language technique it comes across funny and cute as a young child imitates their adult role models but as they grow a little more it is as if they are being a ‘smart-ass’”.

Why is this generation of children so much more violent? ” This is a complex answer and I am positive there are many answers from more chemicals in our food (GMO’s) and more ‘noise’ in the environment to less ‘family-time’.  Also we are seeing a surge in electronics, video games, less communication and human contact in play time.  

Longer periods of time ‘pretending’ to shoot and kill people or animals on video games, can desensitize individuals and reinforce cruelty.  Movies are less family entertaining and are mixing humor and violence together giving the impression it is not only ‘ok to be mean’ but it is funny!  The more realistic and scarier a movie is when focusing on ‘doom and threat’ adds fear which also creates a cocktail of chemicals in our brains.  Our bodies respond just as if we are right there in the room with that killer, sweaty palms, increased heart rate and breathing shorter and more shallow.

 There is a fine line between pretend and reality for many people.  They see more and more realistic deaths, with blood and guts spurting across the screen and a ‘real adrenaline rush’ (including a change in Neurochemistry with increased cortisol, and the ‘addictive, pleasure center’ is activated with a dopamine rush.  Creating a false sense of reality because our bodies are responding as if to say “whew, we made it through that one let’s try it again”! 

Experiments have been done for a very long time on the modeling that children witness and how that will dictate the children’s response to others as well as their learned aggression. the original Bobo Doll experiment from 1961 (4.08 minutes) helps to describe psychologically what happens with children.  This experiment has been replicated many times in many ways over the years with each new experiment confirming the original findings!

The American Psychological Association has now confirmed a link between playing violent video games and aggression. I truly do not believe it is just a few games here and there that causes this violent behavior, I find that a combination of risk factors including the individual’s feelings of loneliness, self-confidence, depression and what they have been modeled at home that can set the perfect scenario for a mental storm for aggression”. 

Happy Father’s Day

Hi Friends…

From time to time, I have ‘guest bloggers’ and today I asked this ‘Father’ to write what he thought about Father’s Day.  It is a perspective I wish so many more people would embrace.  I want to thank him for his contribution and his ability to step outside of the ‘traditional publicized’ holiday to add a sincere, heartfelt explanation for what Father’s Day meant to him.

Dad & Child

“Maybe this day should be called Fathers are Happy Day? To me, Father’s Day isn’t about the acknowledgement of being a ‘dad’ from your children, spouse or friends. It’s not about gifts, cards, telephone calls, or emails and texts. Honestly, I received none of those. But what I did get is the wonderful feeling of being able to reflect on how wonderful it is to BE a father. I experienced so much joy, sorrow, happiness, worry, and frustration, yet, at the end of the day, I would do it again. At 55, I would do it now! Start again! I believe Father’s Day is the opportunity to tell your children how wonderful of a life they gave you. You gave to your kids all that time, knowing it took away from your business or your personal success and rarely did your children even know it. The late nights putting together the toys, building the tree-house, going to the games, teaching, coaching, training, comforting, providing, and loving….even from a distance. You see, the day belongs to dads, not for them to be revered as much as all dads should be thanking ‘God’, the ‘universe’, the ‘powers that be’, to have been given the opportunity to experience the lives he has created. Fathers should be happy, regardless of the circumstances of what life brings, not just for all he has done for his children but for all he has done for himself!”

Thank you for this perspective!  Being a ‘Father’ to a child comes in all forms whether you are a birth Father or not.  Many of you no longer have your children in your life for whatever reason- divorced, or being estranged from them, but the ability to take a day to remember the special moments with gratitude are gravely important for keeping your world positive!

I hope you all had a “Father’s are Happy Day!!!”

Neurofeedback and Autism: One Child’s Miraculous Story

autism and neurofeedback

“Yes, we see miracles all the time. Your daughter is experiencing one of them”.

The most gratifying aspect of being a neurofeedback professional is witnessing complete – almost miraculous – transformations in the lives of your clients.

One such client is an eight-year-old little girl. She attends a special school for children with multiple psychological disorders and severe behavioral issues. I provide NeurOptimal neurofeedback sessions there once a week.

We first met two weeks ago. Her mother explained to me that her daughter was autistic and suffered from severe failure anxiety. She typically avoided eye-contact with strangers and would not shake hands on a first meeting.

Her mother and I went to her classroom and asked her to come with us for her first neurofeedback session. Seeing her mother, the girl agreed to come with us.  I kneeled down in front of her, and gave her my hand; she took it and told me her name. I heard her mother whisper, “wow!”.

Hooking her up with the neurofeedback machine with the NeurOptimal sensors for the first time was challenging – she was afraid to be touched on the earlobes.  I allowed her to attach the sensors herself after demonstrating on her pet cat.

During the brain training session, she watched part of a movie called “Spetter”  –  a story about a Dolphin. The session went well and when it was over, she smiled, looked at her mother and said: “NICE!”

The family went home for the weekend the came back the next Friday.

Same girl, same school, same movie, Part II.

Her mother couldn’t stop talking about the changes they’d witnessed in their daughter the week before. The Saturday morning after the first neurofeedback session, she and her husband were awakened early by the sound of a child whistling in their garden.

They went outside to find their daughter dancing in their sun-covered-garden, whistling tunes. When the girl saw her parents, she threw them a smile and said: “Look, there is the sun, and now I can hear the birds. The dance has been stuck in my head but now it is free”.

The mother looked at her husband when he asked: “Could this be possible? After one neurofeedback session?” She said: “Yes, it must be! Nothing else has changed.”

When the mother told me this story, I said, “Yes, we see miracles all the time. Your daughter is experiencing one of them”.

About the Trainer:


NeurOptimal Trainer Hannie Ruinen first tried NeurOptimal neurofeedback on herself 12 years ago to mitigate severe postpartum depression. The experience was so transformative that she integrated NeurOptimal into her life coaching practice. Today, her neurofeedback training clients include special needs children, professional ballet dancers as well as members of the Netherlands Royal Concert Orchestra. She lives in Roermond, Netherlands with her husband and three children.



Reposted with permission from

Being a Neuroptimal neurofeedback practitioner in The Netherlands, I can only emphasize that neuroptimal is the most useful tool to give kids with Autism a more comfortable life. I offer neuroptimal at a family doctors’ health care centre AND at a school for kids with special needs. That school is the best place where I can offer my service as a trainer. The kids at this school are all being diagnosed/double diagnosed with ADD/ADHD/Autism/dyslexia/FAS…..
This story is just one of the hundreds and hundreds experiences all over the world…

Make New Friends…

I am so very excited to introduce you, my friends to a new friend I have met.  Dr. Jean Paul Martinet, has a private practice in Oakland, CA.  He is a humanitarian specialist.  He has welcomed Cognitive Connections into his world and together we have collaborated on creating a process that engages the entire body, but doing this through primarily brain-based services.  Dr. Martinet will share in his words what he adds to our Cognitive Connections process.

“This is Dr. Jean Paul Martinet D.C, Several months ago we began an affiliation with Cognitive Connections and Dr. Lise DeLong based on our mutual understanding of the importance of optimum brain function and each of us having unique skills and training to offer the public. This is producing excellent results. I am writing this article to give you a better understanding of what I do that relates to your optimum brain functioning.

Dr. DeLong primarily uses Neurofeedback to balance brain function in a holistic manner, and also uses remediation brain games targeted to the clients specific brain weakness, which is determined after extensive standardized testing, (she has several other methods in her toolbox,as well).

I would like to explain some of what I do that is different as well as complimentary. The areas in which I help bring about improved brain function are primarily in the structural, chemical/nutritional and emotional realms. I will share briefly some of the structural and chemical techniques that I use, and then will elaborate on other techniques, things that affect your brain and strategies at a later date.

Nucca alignment

Nucca alignment


First of all, I check everyone’s neck and determine if there are any misalignments. One particular area that I pay a lot of attention to is the upper cervical spine. The atlas vertebra, the first neck vertebra which is located just below the skull, is misaligned in at least 90 percent of people. This area is located at the medulla oblongata, or brain stem, and this area helps control posture, heartbeat and respiration, among other things. Of special importance are the vertebral arteries that come up the sides of the vertebrae and take a 90 degree bend before going into the back of the skull.  A misalignment in this area affects blood flow to the brain, and blood flow is very important to brain functioning. The NUCCA technique is the most advanced, precise and gentle technique used to realign the atlas, head and neck. I have been doing this amazing technique for over 30  years. Everyone should have their atlas checked, because all of the nerves that come from all parts of the body and go into spinal cord , as well as all of the nerves exiting the brain and controlling bodily functions, pass through the atlas area.  So many things are affected by poor alignment like, hip and back alignment, blood pressure, and headaches etc, that I cannot even list them here.


I have been practicing functional endocrinology for years,  and part of that study involves the brain. In simple terms, your brain is like a plant. A plant needs certain things to thrive, like water, sunshine, and nutrients from the soil.  If it does not get them, it will not flourish, and may even die. The brain is the same. A simple blood test can reveal a lot about how your brain is functioning. Any kind of anemia will cause less oxygen to be delivered to the brain so is a blood sugar problem, (hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or diabetes). This is because the brain uses between 20 to 25 per cent of the body’s glucose, or blood sugar for energy to function.  The gut is called the enteric nervous system, or second brain.  Damage to it from antibiotics or gluten sensitivity etc. can cause ‘leaky gut syndrome’ and inflammation.  Gut inflammation is linked to brain fog and celluar inflammation. Gut and body inflammation destroys the brain. There are some blood test indicators such as c reactive protein, that can give indications of brain and body inflammation.There are also lab tests to determine if one has a leaky gut. A leaky gut can lead to allergies and a hyperactive immune system, which can attack parts of the brain (or other body parts).

The neurons, or brain cells also need certain nutritional elements to make neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit signals from one neuron to another. I use a survey forms that will indicate if you have a neurotransmitter deficiency, and there are certain nutritional formulas that can help correct this, without the use of drugs.

Another  thing that is essential to neurons is the right kind of stimulation.  Dr. DeLong’s,  process of Neurofeedback and brain games provide this in a most effective manner. A chiropractic adjustment, light, color, exercise and hormones also stimulate the neurons.

There are many conditions that affect your brain, and to get optimum brain functioning, you might want to consider getting involved in practitioner like myself, who knows about  natural remedies that include structural, nutritional,  detoxification and emotional elements in your patient care.”

Thank you Dr. Martinet for sharing what you do in your office and allowing us a glimpse at how you optimize the brain!

Friends, be good to yourself this year and look at what options you have in your area for proactive complimentary healthcare services and if you need help finding a reputable practitioner please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’